Last night some of the Twin Lakes Church college students sent sweet "get well soon" cards to our House. Natalie (A.K.A. Nat, Natalia, Natty, Nattles and Little Goose) had a great time rolling around in all her beautiful cards - soaking them up. She wanted to read them over and over, she might of even taken a few to sleep with her. Thanks for your encouraging words and prayers and most of all your hearts. May God bless you for your kindness!
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Since we were a was a last minute fit-in, we were scheduled for the last slot on the last day of the week (Friday)! Because, there was a chance we could have claimed a cancellation slot, Natalie was not allowed to eat since midnight the night before (that didn't happen). Since she goes to bed early, her last meal was 8pm and we didn't get home till 8pm, so Natalie didn't eat any food for 24hrs!

I can say with confidence that, it was by prayer that Natalie did so well. She only lost it toward the last 15 minutes. I knew this would be the case, so that's why I emailed or called every person that I could. It was difficult, but it could have been so much worse. Dana and I know from experience. If you remember back when Nat was diagnosed, in the hospital she didn't eat or drink for 6 days! What's worse, they were providing IV nutrition, which gave her all the energy but felt all the effects of being starved the entire time. In case your wondering she cried for 6 days! We were not looking forward to that again, but this was hard but easy at the same time.

We have not heard much back yet from Radiology yet, but our Dr. preliminarily said noting looked out of the ordinary.

Again, we are thankful for all of your prayers. You are all fighters, thanks for not loosing heart!

Love the Orlando's

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Well, It has been an eventful week - to say the least. In our last posting Natalie was beginning to run a fever but swift prayers took it away very quickly. Unfortunately, the next day she had one again. We had to make the decision on our own to go directly to Dominican, because it came on quick. We blew passed the warning temperature 100.3 and quickly shot up to the "go to the hospital" 101.3 degree mark.

We called Stanford right away and were not able to get in touch with any of the "on call" doctors. It's imperative to get a hold of a Stanford Dr. so that they're able to guide Dominican doctors in the exact treatment path. It was a very stressful for both Dana and I. I was constantly on the phone (an essential tool) with the after hours Stanford operator working every angle to connect Dominican with Stanford. It was a full hour at Dominican before we got things rolling. I don't know what was going on!

Time is so important since, when we made our first initial call within 15 min Natalie's temp shot up to 102 degrees (almost a full degree higher than ER emergency temperature levels). This means that if she had an infection, it was that much closer to causing severe (and perhaps irrevocable)damage to our little girl.

Since the securing of Natalie's medical treatments needs to be so specific, both Dana and I had to do everything in our power to really make sure the ER staff were doing everything correctly. Stanford has educated us well. The depth of our knowledge is pretty solid. However, the agony of waiting seemed to stretch on for eternity, as Natalie's fever kept climbing and any treatment hadn't begun yet.

Well in the end all worked out well and we were able to go home. It was only a few days later that we witnessed (what we think to be) Natalie experiencing a minor Seizure at the breakfast table. Her eyes crossed and she became limp. I was freaking out inside. This was seemingly caused by a reaction to some of the Spinal Chemo injections that are in full swing now. Praise God she had high platelet's levels which calmed nerves about any possibility of her brain bleeding and not being able to clot as a result.

I know it sounds weird but the truth is Natalie is outwardly doing great! We are keeping a very close eye on her as her counts begin to fall (which is expected). We are heading up to Stanford for a checkup today, just to dig a little deeper into the seizure event and cover our bases.

I was thinking to myself the other day and I really feel that since so many of you have become an active part in Natalie's lives, it's as if she has a whole bunch of parents. How powerful of a thought to know that we are all fighting this together. And together we stand with open arms, asking for Gods grace and mercy. We miss all of you. -- Dominick and Dana

I am glad to report in a matter of hours Natalie's temp has come down to a normal level. Other than the decline of Natalie's temp, perhaps the great work here is the "flooding of peace." that came after we had asked for prayer.

I imagine this is how the great saints of the Bible advanced forward even during times of extreme torment. For those who have experienced this unique peace even in difficult times, one can only look back at the the mountain traversed only (out of dumbfounded shock)give the credit to God -- and that's what I am doing now...

Philippians 4:7
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I cannot guarantee tomorrow, but I know my God has rescued me today. I am ashamed at how many times this lifeboat has delivered me, and yet in the face of adversity my knees still quake.

Since God is not bound to time and date, maybe God even responded to the hearts of those who called out to Him, even after the this event has come and gone.

Great are the mysteries of our God! And Great is the grace of His hand. Thank you for your faithfulness. For right now we are well, and that's enough for me...

We're reminded that we have been getting a little too comfortable in the security of Natalie's care. Yesterday we received word that there were 3 children (participating in the Leukemia study with down syndrome) who have passed away because of bacteria and fungus exposure. Since most leukemic patients don't have strong immune systems we have to keep an eye out for rising body temperatures so as to hit any sickness with mega doses of antibiotics and other kinds of meds.

As we speak my heart is heavy because Natalie's temp is climbing. I try to put it all in the LORD's hands but it's so hard. I need to remember that God makes everything good even though we don't understand -- but I am afraid. I am witting to ask you to pray that God intervenes and keeps the sickness away.

Dana and I thank you all for your support. The next two months are going to be (what we anticipate as) the hardest phase of her treatment. From now till March or April Natalie will be really battling nausea and toxicity levels in her little body. After this phase it will be more of a low key time (2 years) of oral medicines. But for now I am a bit anxious and can't seem to feel peace.

Thanks for your prayers :)

Dominick and Family

Natalie Orlando

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